What’s the Best Space Heater?

The Four Percent


THE LATEST work-from-home indignity? Enduring attacks of the shivers in the poorly insulated spaces that we’ve converted into makeshift home offices.

“I got tired of wearing three or four layers on my video calls with clients,” said Lauren Cooney, a career strategy coach who’s been working from a freezing room in her Marin County, Calif., home. Though Ms. Cooney tried to power through the chill, “I couldn’t Bernie it,” she said, referring to the Vermont senator who inspired a meme by attending the inauguration in woolly mittens—great for cozily witnessing history, lousy for typing.

To cope, Ms. Cooney did what countless others have this winter: She bought a space heater. But she wasn’t willing to settle for one of the infernal cages Grannies have been known to wheel out to save a few dollars on the gas bill. “I didn’t want an eyesore,” she said, or, for that matter, a fire hazard in her wood-beamed home.


F. Martin Ramin/ The Wall Street Journal

After a thorough hunt, she splurged on a handsome Dyson Pure Hot+Cool HP04 ($650, dyson.com), which can heat or cool up to 800 square feet, and features a built-in air purifier as well as the ability to monitor air quality on the unit’s screen. (The activated carbon and glass HEPA filter on the slightly newer Dyson HP06, $750, can also capture and destroy formaldehyde in the air.) “I wanted something that would work for me year round,” Ms. Cooney said.

The Dyson is among a new class of stylish yet powerful, remote-controlled, or even app-enabled heaters that let you adjust the temperature without having to slink off-screen during a Zoom call. Plus, they’re a lot safer than that decades-old fire-hazard you might be tempted to ferret out of the garage.

“Old space heaters should be replaced when they begin to show signs of wear, like fraying cords,” said Brianne Deerwester, communications coordinator for the Electrical Safety Foundation International. And all newer models, she points out, automatically shut off if the unit overheats or tips over.

Here, three more of the best.


F. Martin Ramin/ The Wall Street Journal

For those who want the crackle and flicker of fire

Ryann Deutsch, a student at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, lacked a fireplace in her chilly sitting room and found a worthy substitute in the remote-controlled, extravagantly named Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove. The 5,200 BTU infrared heater can warm up to 1,000 square feet ($270, amazon.com), while the old-school wood-stove design and crackling faux flames add just the right amount of coziness for her Instagram-famous dog, an Aussiedoodle named Sherlock Freddie Mercury. Her four-legged friend, she said, is “perfectly content laying in front of the ‘fire’ while I’m watching a movie or eating dinner.” ($270, amazon.com)


F. Martin Ramin/ The Wall Street Journal

For those who think a heater should be felt and not seen


new 1500-watt Slim Style Digital Convection Panel Heater with Fan conceals its heat source in a sleek white case, which can also be mounted to a wall (for anyone with white walls, it becomes almost invisible). The heater can warm up to 144 square feet and offers a “freeze prevention” mode to keep a room above 45 degrees while you’re out of town to ward off burst pipes. ($140, delonghi.com)


F. Martin Ramin/ The Wall Street Journal

For those who want their heat close at hand

The Nordic Hygge Värme is a small tabletop heater with one really neat trick up its sleeve: a removable, puck-shaped hand warmer that’s magnetically attached to the unit. With 400 watts of power, the Värme is best suited to making its immediate vicinity toasty. But it’s unbeatable if you want to take a slice of that toastiness with you when you take your own Sherlock for a walk. Just pluck off the puck—designed to stay warm for an hour thanks to its wax filling—and pop it in your coat pocket. ($89, mynordichygge.com)

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